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Dinosaurs were thriving before asteroid strike

Posted on Friday, 8 March, 2019 | Comment icon 21 comments

The dinosaurs may not have been in decline after all. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Gerhard Boeggemann
A new study has cast doubt on the idea that the dinosaurs had been in steady decline before the impact.
While it is generally accepted that the apocalyptic combination of a catastrophic asteroid strike and intense volcanism brought about the demise of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous, scientists have long struggled to agree on whether or not the prehistoric reptiles had been thriving beforehand.

Some have argued that the dinosaurs had already been in decline before the extinction, in particular due to changes in climate, competition with other species and a failure to speciate fast enough.

This, it is thought, may have made them particularly vulnerable to the apocalypse that followed.

Now though, a new study has cast doubt on this idea and has instead suggested that the very opposite was true - that the dinosaurs were in fact thriving before they were wiped out.

The research used ecological niche modelling to predict the environmental conditions suitable for various dinosaur species and where they might have thrived as the climate changed over time.

"The results of our study suggest that dinosaurs as a whole were adaptable animals, capable of coping with the environmental changes and climatic fluctuations that happened during the last few million years of the Late Cretaceous," said lead researcher Alessandro Chiarenza.

"Climate change over prolonged time scales did not cause a long-term decline of dinosaurs through the last stages of this period."

The findings open up the very real possibility that the dinosaurs may have never disappeared at all (and subsequently we may never have existed) if the asteroid strike hadn't occurred.

It seems that we may in fact owe our very existence to their untimely demise.

Source: | Comments (21)

Tags: Dinosaurs, Asteroid, Extinction

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Piney on 10 March, 2019, 3:57
No, that evolutionary change happened a lot earlier. The Gnetophyta might be the missing link in between.  The angiosperm radiation happened in the Cretaceous and they became predominate during the Campanian right before the meteor strike.  Not all dinosaurs went extinct. Just the large ones. We call the small ones birds now. Frogs, like mammals were small enough ( i.e. needed less energy/ resources) to survive. Your the one that hasn't done your homework. Looks like a crater to me.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Piney on 10 March, 2019, 3:57
I was answering at the same time.  Great minds! 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Carnoferox on 10 March, 2019, 4:01
First it's people claiming there was a Younger Dryas impact when there wasn't, now it's someone claiming there wasn't a K/Pg impact when there was! 
Comment icon #15 Posted by Piney on 10 March, 2019, 4:08
Go over to "Let's Talk History" and do some scanning. I just answered this genius over there. This is the guy who thinks Saturn ghosted us and caused a worldwide flood and giant lightning strikes, and it was all "God's Plan". 
Comment icon #16 Posted by third_eye on 10 March, 2019, 5:15
No arguments there, the Gobi desert region is still so harsh and inaccessible today that many an attempt to film there has failed ... rather miserably too ~
Comment icon #17 Posted by BuddingPsychic1111 on 10 March, 2019, 9:08
There are probably still dinosaurs honestly.  People have seen them in certain parts of the jungles of Africa, and I could imagine that likely they were not completely wiped out.  The numbers may have declined, but honestly I'm not convinced that there are not still dinosaurs in certain parts of the world.  Then, there's the Loch Ness monster to consider, which is probably some sort of dinosaur
Comment icon #18 Posted by Carnoferox on 10 March, 2019, 17:41
Yes there are still dinosaurs thriving today, and they are of course birds. I can however say with confidence that there are no non-avialan dinosaurs alive today. None of the supposed sightings are even remotely convincing.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Essan on 10 March, 2019, 18:41
The Loch Ness monster is far more likely to be a Nazi submarine built by the Romans and put there by the Chinese 200,000 years ago in order to escape the Black Death when the Transformers invaded, than a dinosaur.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Essan on 10 March, 2019, 18:51
Some thunderstorm!    But the chicxulub crater (it's not a crater - just the geological traces of one)  looks like a fulgurite in the same way a daffodil looks like a 2 mile wide turkey sandwich And why frogs?  Fish and mammals and beetles and birds also survived .... Angiosperms have been around for over 200 million years.  Gymnosperms are very common and widespread today. Try reading up on the subject  
Comment icon #21 Posted by Galactic Goatman on 11 March, 2019, 3:50
There is no large marine reptile in the Loch, and even if there was, no non-avian dinosaur was fully aquatic. The crackpots  think “Nessie” is a surviving plesiosaur, and plesiosaurs are not dinosaurs.  Also the “dinosaurs are alive and well in the jungles” is the stuff of science-fiction, literally. Look up The Lost World (the novel, not the JP film). No evidence exists of river-living sauropods, in fact sauropods were not the swamp-dwelling behemoths they were thought to be back in the 70’s. Funny how all alleged “living dinosaurs” sightings resemble outdated depictions. 

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